CHANDIGARH: In a classic example of applying the T-20 formula of cricket in politics particularly the elections, Shiromani Akali Dal president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal is learnt to be exploring unconventional options making the winability the sole criterion against the seniority or political background of the candidates.
As in a game of T-20 the winning is the sole purpose, without caring for style and class usually displayed during a game of test cricket, so does Sukhbir contest elections. He did it during the assembly elections and won and he is believed to be exploring and most likely experimenting the same option for the parliamentary elections as well.
Since ideology for the party affiliations has taken a back seat, it is the figures about how many seats you win that matters. No wonder Sukhbir picked up a councillor from a thoroughly urban area like Ludhiana and made him to contest from a far off place like Mansa, otherwise a predominantly rural constituency, and made him win by working the caste calculus.
The political grapevine has that he is likely to repeat the same experiment in the parliament as well. No wonder he is believed to have been suggesting the BJP to swap Amritsar for Patiala as the BJP MP from Amritsar Navjot Sidhu belongs to Patiala and might prove to be a formidable candidate against the sitting MP and the Minister of State for External Affairs Perneet Kaur, who so far has proved too be quite invincible.
From Amritsar the party is believed to be contemplating to field Ganieve Kaur, the wife of Youth Akali Dal president and minister Bikram Singh Majithia. It goes without saying that the Majithia family enjoys lot of influence and clout in the area and Bikram has revived it. Moreover, he wants to expand his base in the entire Amritsar parliamentary constituency.
Similarly he is believed to be contemplating to field leading industrialists from Ludhiana and Sangrur. None of them have any political experience or exposure. However, he believes that fielding the particular industrialist from Ludhiana may prove to be a better option than fielding a traditional politician since the industrialist gels well with the city’s urban population while in the rural areas the Akalis have an edge with a committed vote bank irrespective of who is going to be the candidate.
Same experiment he is believed to be contemplating for Sangrur. With Akali stalwart and party secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa is in the Rajya Sabha and not so keen to give it a try in the Lok Sabha, the Akali Dal is in search of a candidate and is believed to have already identified a leading industrialist who has business interests in the area.
Sukhbir appears to be keen on winning the elections without bothering much about the past or the future of the candidates he will be fielding. He may field people for one time only and if he thinks they have outlived their purpose he may not take much time to replace them for better candidates next time. It must not be a surprise if Sukhbir comes out with surprising choices for the parliament.